Jio Rockers Life of Pi – Slow but wondrous tale of human triumph
‘Life of Pi’ is director Ang Lee’s film based on the award winning book of the same name written by Yann Martel. The movie has been making waves for its computer generated animals and 3D effects. The movie has Irfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain and Gerard Depardieu in the lead roles.
The film stays largely true to the book and the central character happens to be Piscine Molitor or Pi (Suraj Sharma). He is shown as a South Indian lad who is pretty intelligent and inquisitive. Pi’s parents (Adil Hussain and Tabu) run a local zoo and they have a content life. In search of a better future, Pi’s father decides to emigrate to Canada and the family gets on board a Japanese freight ship for the journey. The animals are taken along as well.
During the journey, the ship runs into a very heavy storm and sinks. Pi survives the accident and he finds himself in a small lifeboat along with four other animals, one of which is an adult Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.
Pi must now fight for his life, battling the elements as well as the dangerous animals aboard his boat. The rest of the film is about Pi’s incredible journey and the bond that eventually forms between man and beast.
Plus Points :
The movie has some truly stunning visuals, perhaps second only to James Cameron’s epic ‘Avatar’. The storm sequence, the survival scenes in the ocean and the episodes between Pi and the Tiger are just brilliant. Visual effects and computer generated imagery are just too real to believe.
Other scenes that deserve special mention include the ones from the magical island, the blue whale leaping out of the ocean and the tiger taming sequence. From about 30 – 40 minutes into the film, viewers will be sucked into a magical tale that is both emotional as well as entertaining.
The movie has some strong performances, especially from Suraj Sharma. He wins you over with a flawless portrayal of Pi and he truly brings the character alive on the big screen. Irfan Khan delivers a solid and impressive performance as the older Pi. Tabu and Adil Hussain are good in their limited roles.
Ang Lee’s direction deserves special mention, especially during the ship wreck sequences. The movie has some brilliant dialogues and subtle humour. Because the movie plays with the basal human instinct of survival, it is very easy for viewers to connect to the drama that unfolds on the screen.
3D effects are very cool and have been cleverly executed. This is one movie that must be seen in 3D only.
Minus Points :
The movie is not a popcorn entertainer that most people expect when the words ‘3D graphics adventure’ come out on posters. The movie takes off slowly and the climax is slow as well.
Because of the book’s deep philosophical nature and its attempt to flirt with the fundamental questions of God and faith, the film also tends to have that flavour. Except for the brilliant visual effects and shipwreck sequences, casual entertainment seeking movie lovers may not find much to enjoy in the film.
The slow pace of narration and the slightly complex climax (for those who haven’t read the book) prevent the movie from becoming a truly entertaining experience.
Technical Aspects :
Claudio Miranda’s cinematography and visual effects from Rhythm and Hues studio deserve standing ovation. They are the heart and soul of this film. Editing could have been sharper in the opening moments of the film.
Ang Lee largely succeeds as a director but he is slightly let down by David Magee’s documentary style screenplay.
‘Life of Pi’ is a slow but wondrous and highly emotional tale of human triumph in the face of adversity. The movie’s spellbinding 3D effects, graphics and breathtaking cinematography complement a very nice plot. Don’t go in expecting a racy entertainer. The movie can get quite slow and intense at times. Should you watch it? Yes! But don’t forget to take in a lot of popcorn with you.